Pre-purchase Termite Inspections

pre_inspection

Pre-Purchase Pest Inspection Perth 

The team at Swat-A-Pest have been providing pre-purchase pest inspections in Perth for over 15 years, saving home buyers many thousands of dollars and heartache.

Swat-A-Pest will:

  • Guide you through the best way to protect yourself when buying your new home.
  • Provide a detailed report on any current or previous termite activity.
  • Inspect and report and any Wood rot / fungal decay.
  • Inspect and report on any Wood Borers found on the property.
  • We will provide you with a detailed list, tailored specific to your home, of non-chemical recommendations for things you can do to reduce your chances of a future termite attack.
  • If required, we can make all arrangements with the real estate agent.
  • All work carried out by Swat-A-Pest is fully insured.

The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia has a clause called the ‘Timber Pest Pre-Purchase Inspection Clause’; this standard clause was drafted to be added into every building and sale contract. 

Pre-Purchase Inspection Cost

Pre-Purchase Inspection – Standard – $250.00

Inspection carried out to AS4349.3, includes inspecting for termites, borers and fungal decay to all accessible roof areas, subfloor (if applicable), as well as all internal and external areas within 30m of home structure.

Pre-Purchase Inspection – T3i upgrade – $330.00

Using Thermal Technology, we will carry out a thermal scan of any applicable walls and ceiling areas. We will also conduct a microwave scan of all bathroom, kitchen and laundry cupboards to determine if termites are hiding in these internal hot spots.

Pre-Purchase Inspection – Major upgrade – $750.00

We will also carry out a moisture test to all walls of the house, a sound test of every accessible timber and a microwave test of all external walls of the home to determine if activity exists hidden in the walls.

What is a White Ant Clearance Certificate? 

Despite two different Australian Standards being introduced in a 13-year period, today, many real estate agents still make the purchase of a home subject to a white ant clearance certificate.

  • Does it include inspecting the roof space?  
  • Does it include the subfloor?  
  • Does it include the wet areas inside the home?  
  • Does it involve just the interior or the exterior of the home as well?  
  • What about the garage or the workshop?  

Without a clear standard for what a ‘white ant clearance certificate’ includes, how are you as the purchaser supposed to know what was actually inspected and/or whether you should still buy the house?

  • Do NOT sign any purchase documents that are subject to a White Ant Clearance Certificate!!!
  • Is making the offer subject to the Australian Standard inspection enough protection for you as the purchaser?  

Well, this depends on what else is mentioned in the clause.  For example:

“This offer is subject to a timber pest inspection being carried out in accordance with AS4349.3-2010 at the expense of the purchaser no later than 7 days prior to settlement.  Should active termites be found in the main dwelling, then it is the vendors’ responsibility to pay for the eradication of the termites.”

On the surface that may sound as if you, as the purchaser are fully protected, 99% of purchasers happily sign this clause, however, there are many scenarios that you would not be covered for:

  • What happens if the termites are on the outside of the building, climbing up the external wall and just about to enter the roof?
  • What happens if there are termites in the garage/shed/workshop?
  • What happens if there is $80,000 worth of termite damage in the roof, but there are no termites present?
  • What happens if the house is full of borers and requires a $30-40,000 fumigation?
  • What happens if there was a water leak and several timbers have fungal decay, requiring treatment or replacement?

In any of the above scenarios based on the previous clause mentioned, you would be buying the house ‘as is.’  

In fact, the only thing the owner would be responsible for is the treatment of ‘active termites.’

This means you would have to pay for all the damage to be replaced!

The wording on your Offer and Acceptance contract could make all the difference!

Hard to believe, but nearly every inspection clause on the standard Offer and Acceptance when you buy a house, is either outdated or insufficient in protecting you as the purchaser.

Owner Must Treat Termites:  

Perhaps one of the most frustrating things that our clients have had to deal with is the treatment of termites when found during an inspection.  

Most clauses state that it will be the owner’s responsibility to have these termites treated.  

This means they pay for it but also means they get to pick the pest control company to carry out the treatment.  

The problem arises due to the level of service that varies between pest control companies.  Where one company will come in with a one-minute quick fix spray and provide a treatment certificate, another company may spend hours installing a baiting system and monitoring those stations for several months into the future.  Given the option, which level of service do you think the vendor/owner of the property will want to pay for?

The treatment of the termites (especially when someone is selling the house) is a contract between the existing owner and their pest control company.  

Unfortunately, their pest control company doesn’t necessarily have to kill the termite colony, they only have to kill the termites present which means any future termites found on the property after you have moved in will be your responsibility. 

  • Try to contact that company and they will tell you that you are not their client.
  • As a purchaser, you do not have any say what-so-ever in whether the termite eradication will be done the ‘right way’ or the ‘cheap way’ by the vendor’s pest company.

Horror Story – We carried out a pre-purchase inspection on a house that had termite damage to the interior and subfloor of the home, however, the only termites active were in the frame of the workshop outside.  There were also borers in four separate sections of the roof and three sections of the subfloor meaning the entire house needed to be fumigated.  

We worked out the product cost alone to do the job properly and the cost of the chemical came to $14,000, plus it would take about a week to paint the product on every timber in the roof and subfloor.  Then they needed a full termite barrier for the home as well as a colony eliminator in the workshop.  The total pest bill came in at $22,000.  However, because the contract to purchase only mentioned termites in the main dwelling, the vendor did not even have to pay $1 towards the works needing to be carried out.

As you can see the pre-purchase inspection clause is perhaps one of the most important aspects of the contract and given the above scenarios, we at SWATAPEST highly recommend that you request your own clause on the contract.

The team at S&D Settlements have helped us in preparing this clause to protect you as the purchaser, we suggest you use the following clause:

A pre-purchase timber pest and building inspection is the best purchase you will make when buying your dream home. It protects you and your investment. 

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